Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeArchitectureCity Center Park And Boathouse Bay Dominate Silver Bay Council Meeting

City Center Park And Boathouse Bay Dominate Silver Bay Council Meeting

Around 30 area residents attended Monday night’s Silver Bay City Council meeting to lis­ten to discussions concerning the concept plan to develop City Center Park and to understand the alterations that have been proposed to the Boathouse Bay development plan.

In August 2023, the City Council approved a conceptual design plan for the downtown area that included design ideas that could be imple­mented to, among other things, create an en­hanced outdoor recreation and entertainment area in City Center Park. The concept design plan was an outgrowth from community discus­sions held in May of 2022. These discussions were facilitated by the Minnesota Design Team (MDT), an outreach program made up of archi­tects, urban planners and experts in community development. Over the past 35 years, MDT has worked in towns like Crosslake, Eyota, Excel­sior and North Branch, to help local leaders de­velop revitalization plans for their communities.

Nelson French, Economic Development Chair and member of the Planning and Zoning Com­mission, appeared before the Council to review the concept ideas that the Council has endorsed and to inform that Council that the design team will be meeting on July 22nd. The goal of the meeting will be to complete the design elements so that a more formal plan can go to the Council for a vote, sometime this fall. The design team is made up of residents from Silver Bay includ­ing French, David Drown, Shannon Walz, Steve Van House, Mary Hoffman, Seth Thun and oth­ers. The architectural firm that is working with the Silver Bay design team, will be charging a fee of $25,000 for their services. The French indi­cated that $16,000 has been raised toward that amount. The Council took no action on the City Center Park plan at Monday night’s meeting. The design team will hold a community meet­ing for interested residents when the formal plans are completed and have been approved by the Council.

David Drown, Silver Bay Economic Develop­ment Director, was on hand to review a number of changes that need Council approval and will support forward movement on the Boathouse Bay project.

The first change called for a resolution amend­ing and restating the purchase and development agreement with Sawtooth 16, LLC for the de­velopment. The amendment authorizes shifting $350,000 worth of work from Nor-Son Con­struction, which has been awarded the contract for Boathouse Bay, to developer John Anderson. The work involves grading and construction of drainage ponds within the acreage of the devel­opment. Anderson’s company is experienced in this kind of work and Nor-Son agreed to this change. Additionally, $198,000 from IRRR funding will be shifted to Anderson to cover the cost of construction of the portion of sewer and water services that will not be owned by the city.

The second change called for a resolution ap­proving modifications to the Tax Increment Fi­nancing (TIF) district that has been established within the municipal development district for Boathouse Bay. Tax increments will be collected from people who purchase Boathouse Bay prop­erty over a proposed 10 year period. The TIF pe­riod has been extended to cover the money that was shifted from IRRR and, when collected, will be returned to the city. Silver Bay residents will not see any direct or indirect tax liability for the development, according to Drown.

The third change amended a previous resolu­tion (2023 #83) authorizing the issuance, sale and delivery of a taxable revenue note. The Council approved each of these resolutions and authorized the closing of the property sale for the Boathouse Bay development.

In other business,several residents spoke to the Council about the flood damage that has been done to their homes with the recent rains that we’ve had. Part of this problem is due to the fact that portions of the perimeter ditching around the city are on land that Reserve Mining sold to private owners without a plan to maintain the ditches so that they function properly. The Council will be sending letters to property own­ers asking for easements so that city crews can access and maintain the ditches. FEMA will be assessing flood damage to the area in the next few weeks. It is not known, at present, if FEMA will be able to offer some help to residents who have suffered damage to their homes.

Finally, the Council set the date for a public hearing concerning a fine schedule for weeds, grass and junk, including unsheltered storage, on property around the city. That hearing will be held on August 5th at 7:00, prior to the Council meeting.

The next Silver Bay Council meeting will be held on July 15th at 7:00.

Rick Evans
Rick Evans
My wife, Marsha Kinzer (a proud DEHS Greyhound, class of ‘77) introduced me to the North Shore on vacation in 2012. It became our regular escape when the stress of our careers in education became overwhelming, and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the breathtaking scenery, the nice people, and “salad” containing Jell-o and marshmallows. So you can either blame or thank my loving wife for my being here, because when we needed to choose a retirement hometown, Marsha advocated hard for her beloved Duluth, and here we are, six months later. Yes, this will be my first northern Minnesota winter. Yes, I welcome thoughts and prayers. Government, public policy, and social justice weighed heavily in the curriculums I taught at the high school level over a thirty-eight year career. In addition, we were a laboratory school focused on critical thinking in conjunction with technical and scientific writing. So when I found myself adrift on the great ocean of retirement and spied a raft, I jumped at the chance to take up what I’d left behind…minus the bad teachers’ lounge coffee. My position at the NSJ allows me to combine my passions for government and writing, and it’s helping me to feel less out of touch in new surroundings. When I’m not being “Cubby” (Marsha’s favorite new nickname for this green reporter) I enjoy pointing at eagles and saying, “Look, honey. There’s an eagle.” I’ve had an active side hustle as a professional musician for almost as many years as Charlie Parr. As a guitarist/singer/songwriter, I graced the stages of clubs and festivals around southern Wisconsin, including an appearance on A Prairie Home Companion. Should I even mention A Prairie Home Companion, or am I the only one here old enough to remember what that is? Look! An eagle!
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